WHY IS WIND TURBINE NOISE POORLY MASKED BY ROAD TRAFFIC NOISE?

Eja Pedersen
Frits van den Berg

Halmstad University and University of Gothenburg
{eja.pedersen@hh.se}  2GGD Amsterdam
{fvdberg@ggd.amsterdam.nl}

TurbineNoiseandTrafficNoise (1) Capture

Abstract

The possibility of road traffic noise masking noise from wind turbines was explored among  residents living close to wind turbines in the Netherlands (n = 725) with different levels of  road traffic noise present. No general masking effect was found, except when levels of wind  turbine sound were moderate (35 – 40 dB(A) Lden) and road traffic sound level exceeded  that level with at least 20 dB(A). This low masking capacity may be due to the different time  patterns of these noise sources, both on a small time scale (car passages/regular blade passing) and a larger time scale (diurnal and weekly patterns). Also, wind turbine sound is relatively easy audible and may be heard upwind more often than road traffic.

Introduction

Suitable sites for wind turbines can be difficult to find due to conflicting requirements.  Placing wind farms close to the electric grid and existing roads (both are usually better  available in populated areas) is favourable for investment costs, but it may increase the
possibility that neighbours may be visually and aurally disturbed. It is therefore not uncommon that wind turbines are planned to be erected at distances from dwellings that are unacceptable by the local residents.

The individual appraisal of wind turbines planned close to one’s home is not irrational but based on considerations such as the evaluation of the wind turbines’ impact (scenic and otherwise) and feelings of equity and fairness [1]. The apprehension that for example the noise will be disturbing in an otherwise comparable quiet area has been confirmed by research: wind turbine noise may be louder and is apparently more annoying than was assumed before the growth in wind turbine numbers and power in the ‘90s [2, 3]. The recommended noise limits (different in different countries), and consequently a minimum distance depending on the number of wind turbines and their sound power levels, should therefore be kept or should even be more rigorous if the original level of noise protection is to
be maintained.

Follow to Read more of the  report:  https://mothersagainstturbines.files.wordpress.com/2014/07/turbinenoiseandtrafficnoise-1.pdf

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